School news roundup: Trottier Principal transition, Start time Update, and next year’s calendar

As I acknowledged earlier this week, some school news from the fall slipped by me. The Strategic Planning forums were the most urgent, but not the only items. So, now I’m rounding up the items that I didn’t share from announcements I missed in November and December.

Trottier Middle School’s principal is changing jobs and his replacement was named. The district shared an update on the status of the School Start Time initiative. And the district wide calendar for the next school year was approved. Below are more details on each.

Trottier Principal Transition

For those that missed the news, Southborough’s middle school Principal Keith Lavoie is being promoted to the district’s head office. According to an announcement by Superintendent Greg Martineau, Lavoie will become:

Director of Operations for The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough to provide leadership in the areas of facilities, transportation, and food services.

In an interview by students in Trottier’s “Southborough Access Media” elective, Lavoie said that working on buses would be a big part of the job. In addition to the duties described, Lavoie said he would tackle special projects assigned by the Superintendent.

The position was created as part of former Superintendent Christine John’s Organizational Growth Plan:

to update and improve the organizational structure of The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough’s Central Office.

Martineau sent the news to parents via email in mid-November. The change prompted another promotion. Assistant Principal Gary Hrechuk will be moving up to Principal of the 6th-8th grade school:

I can assure you that Principal Lavoie’s and my top priority is to ensure that there is a seamless transition in leadership at P. Brent Trottier Middle School. As part of this transition plan, I am appointing Mr. Gary Hreschuk, current Assistant Principal, as the next Principal of P. Brent Trottier Middle School. Mr. Hreschuk has served as Trottier’s Assistant Principal for over ten years and has earned the respect of educators, students, and parents. He has proven himself to be a highly competent and capable leader who always places students at the center of his work. Mr. Hreschuk will provide a seamless transition for students, educators, and the community and will continue the great work that Principal Lavoie fostered over the years.

The Public Schools of Southborough will be advertising the position of P. Brent Trottier Middle School Assistant Principal. I’m anticipating that the process will take approximately eight weeks from advertising, forming an interview committee, interviewing, and identifying an outstanding candidate to take on the position. At this time, Principal Lavoie and Assistant Principal Hreschuk will remain in their current roles until an assistant principal begins his or her work at P. Brent Trottier Middle School. I’m anticipating that this will take place in late January or early February.

I checked in with Lavoie this week. The latest time frame is that they are shooting for making the change after February break. But that is dependent on successfully hiring a replacement for Hreschuk.

Start Time Task Force image
(click to open pdf)

Start Time Update

A November announcement reiterated that there will be no change to school hours in the following school year. 

The Start Time Task Forces is scheduled to make a presentation to the school committees in April – which is after the budget is set for next year. The soonest a change could be targeted is for 2021-2022. 

Currently, the Task force is working to educate the public on the importance of starting school later for teens. The community is encouraged to read this brochure and other information on the task force website.

District Calendar 2020-2021

Students’ families who need to plan vacations well in advance will be happy to know that next year’s calendar is set. Though, I should note that the district did revise this year’s as late as last April. But that was for just one professional development day. I wouldn’t expect any big changes between now and September. 

student calendar 2020-21
(click to enlarge)

“September” feels like bigger news than it really is. School usually begins for students in late August. But, in 3 out 11 years, the Wednesday before Labor Day (our district’s traditional start) falls in September. The last time, was 2015, and before that 2010.

Earlier this fall, the district considered an alternative option of starting on Monday, August 31st. In October, Martineau told combined committees that he decided not to introduce that into teacher contract negotiations.

The Sept start pushes the last day of school without snow days to Friday, June 18th. Which means that school is likely to continue into the last full week of June, if not right up to the end of the month. (June 30th is the last possible day.)

Two Professional Development days are scheduled to interrupt the calendar. One takes place on election day, November 3rd. The other is Tuesday, March 3rd. (I have no explanation for that specific date.)

The breaks follow past tradition: 2½ days for Thanksgiving, Winter break starting with an early dismissal the day before Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, the 3rd week of February, and the week of Patriot’s Day in April. The school continues to observe the big Jewish holidays (though one falls on a weekend) and Good Friday. Plus, of course, state and federal holidays are observed.

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3 years ago

Thanks for all the info Beth!

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